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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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The most annoying sound on radio

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This picture was shot at Square One … no, in Vaughan, no, in Scarborough, … Edmonton?, … oh, well… they all look alike.

Why do jewellery commercials have to be so tasteless and annoying? I single out jewellery commericals, since they are more annoying even then furniture commercials, their main competitor for the gold standard of tastelessness.

But no. We have sharpers like Russell Oliver, and others who will go on TV and radio and in the most garish manner known to man, tell you how you can trade in your jewellery for cash, in a way that seems to rob your most prized possessions of all the dignity and memory they once had. But I don’t believe he is the worst.

On the radio station I listen to, which doesn’t play a lot of ads, I admit, there is that infernal commercial from Spence Diamonds. Oh, that Scream! I didn’t know that it has been dubbed the “Spence Scream”, and even hashtagged #SpenceScream since at least 2014. It has even attracted some imitators, and an attempt had been made to vote it out of existence (Spence didn’t listen and it still persists to this afternoon). Since it was Spence that initiated the vote, I believe that maybe they thought it was too memorable, and couldn’t come up with a less annoying idea.

I am annoyed because I am already married, been there, done that. Having been through it, it is a tad degrading to hear it. The marriage (mine, at least), was about love. Clearly, Spence is agaisnt this idea. They want it to be about their diamonds.

Curiously, the comment sections of the YouTube videos of Spence promos have curiously well-worded and lucid critiques of Spence’s advertising practices. These are not your normal trolls. These apparently well-educated and erudite people seemed to have a lot of time on their hands, and are gravely preoccupied with dignity and class.

I think: look, the couple sounds very much in-character on the radio, just get rid of the scream.

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In youtube: 100 worst _____ (using auto-complete)

100 worst … youtube channels

There are thousands of “worst channels” all tied for last place, if it must have definition.

  • Channels with no videos or playlists
  • Channels with no videos but no original content
  • Channels that slander or promote racial bias or hatred
  • Channels that are advertising, disguised as entertainment or information

… pick up lines

  • That might be a worthwhile topic, but only if it’s funny, since a bad pickup line could be just boring

… video games

  • For me, they are the ones that are either
    • Impossible to win
    • Impossible to lose
    • Involve battlefields (since I always seem to get stuck in a place with no combat)

… movie lines

  • Be careful there … sometimes the worst lines are the best ones of all

… songs

  • While this is subjective, we could pick songs that were either
    • Auto-tuned to death and are not singable by any human
    • Bad quality audio, or sung/played badly
    • And, yes, the usual bad lyrics

… Spongebob episodes

  • I have a hard time distinguishing good Spongebob episodes from bad ones. I thought they were all bad.

… games/games of all time

  • We already mentioned video games, but same criteria

… pop records

  • Bad songs that were hits. Another worthwhile topic. Let’s see if Disco Duck and Who Let The Dogs Out make the list.
  • Because the list is long, a lot of tunes make the list because they were simply overplayed over the years (and become horribly annoying for that reason), but are actually decent songs:
    • Ebony and Ivory
    • My Heart Will Go On
    • We Built This City
    • Tie a Yellow Ribbon
    • Love Will Keep Us Together
    • Seasons in the Sun
  • A survey conducted by listchallenges.com (http://www.listchallenges.com/100-worst-songs-ever/) showed in its results, what I imagine to be people who tended not to pick songs they didn’t recognize (obviously) – except there appeared to be agreement on what is not recognizable. I don’t recognize any of the 30 or so songs at the bottom of the list, but I recognize nearly all of the songs at the top 30 of the list. We tend to perceieve as “worst” songs, songs that are actually hits (usually big hits), but are overplayed. The top 10 songs appear to be nearly all rap/hip hop tunes (except for Achy Breaky Heart, My Heart Will Go On, I’d Do Anything For Love, and We Built This City)
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Commentary

Tweet These are some rambling thoughts on things I have found lying around on YouTube and other locations. My jazz station plays too many jazz covers of hit songs. If I wanted to hear Woodstock, I would tune into an oldies station to hear the original. Americans are being offered Tim Horton’s Poutine doughnuts. Yuck. My biggest worry […] […]

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You know it’s April 1st when …

Tweet The news cycle is replete with bogus stories: Trump appoints Ivanka to head anti-nepotism task force. ‘Trump has decided gravity is not real’, says Sean Spicer, while clearly suspended by wires. “Putting Shakespeare to Rap music helps students revise”, say leading educators. World’s Largest aircraft APR001 to house a swimming pool, gym, and park. Ask Google Gnome what to feed […] […]

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The Future of Trump Parodies

Tweet Humor can be a place where we celebrate what we as a human race value: honesty, love, safety, racial equality, fairness, peacefulness. We usually do this by poking fun at the times when any of these values are violated by public figures such as world leaders or celebrities. Usually these violations happen once or twice, […] […]

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The Government is telling me who I am: The voting Survey: a lesson in sampling bias part III

Tweet As a response for participating in the survey, I finally know who I am, because the government told me so. Apparently I am a pragmatist. In an earlier one of these online surveys, I was someone on the loony left. These labels are, on some level, amusing. It’s kind of like reading a Horoscope characterization […] […]

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The voting Survey: a lesson in sampling bias part II

Tweet So far, in the last post, I had revealed an example of sampling bias as being the fact that the questions only hint at particular alternative voting systems without coming out and suggesting one and how it has been implemented elsewhere, so that a more intelligent response to the questionnaire could be made possible. A […] […]

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In Memoriam, 2016

Tweet What a year. A lot of really well-liked musicians and entertainers have shuffled off this mortal coil. Indeed, it was a depressing year for celebrity deaths, and increased global warming and Trump winning the election didn’t help things. We witness the cosmically interconnected deaths of multiple people within the same sitcom; both Carrie Fisher (Princess […] […]

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The voting survey: a lesson in sampling bias

Tweet Our feds came up with a survey that had some useful questions in it, but also had some questions that gave the overall impression of how they wanted the questions answered. They are asking me to agree or disagree with statements that have not been discussed a whole lot in the media, and really require […] […]

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Hillary Pilloried

Tweet We should see more headlines like this. This past day’s election should have been Hillary’s to lose, not Trump’s to win. But this is what it has become. In the media, it was always about Donald. Donald says something outrageous, then the media and the world react, like a Greek chorus. Hillary, singing alto, would be […] […]

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As I have said elsewhere …

Tweet I have been saying for the past six months that the coverage of Donald Trump has the effect of support for the Republican presidential candidate. Other events also contributed, most notably the coronation of Trump which constituted the whole Republican convention from start to finish. The mediocre crop of candidates surrounding Trump did not want […] […]

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OOC 013: Folkies and Rockers

Tweet Bruce Cockburn tried to stay back-to-the-land (and later political) in his music and public image for as long as he could. Born and raised in Ottawa, he has been penning songs for over 30 years along many themes, including religion, third world politics, love, friendship, and much more. Apart from getting his Order of Canada in […] […]

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Famous Teetotalers 013: She’s a little bit country, and he’s a little bit rock and roll

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So you want to be a witchcraft-practising wrestler?

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If you are out of topic ideas …

Tweet 4d3hndufl6 […]

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In Memoriam: Gene Wilder, at 83

Tweet Today, it was reported that actor and meme victim Gene Wilder died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at age 83. I’ve looked up some things about the meme from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Turns out that the image is from a scene where he reveals a little bit of his chocolate manufactouring process to […] […]

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The popularity of “Child Poverty”

Tweet Over the past decade or so, this human rights cause “flavour of the month” called “child poverty” has been in style as something to say and for human rights groups and politicians to champion. Before that, we only had “poverty”, until sometime in the late ’90s, when someone discovered “child poverty”, and now it’s all […] […]

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Famous Teetotalers 012: Right-wingers

Tweet Ted Nugent or “The Nuge” is a hard rock/psychedelic guitarist whose musical career dates back to 1963. He has made his stance against drug and alcohol abuse part of his right-wing activism. He is an ardent Republican supporter, and is strongly in favour of gun rights. It is said that his stance against substance abuse […] […]

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OOC Recipients 012: Movie Makers

Tweet David Cronenberg, a filmmaker otherwise known as the King of Horror, or the Baron of Blood, was essentially a Canadian filmmaker, and didn’t delve into Hollywood much. Most of his films were shot in Ontario, with notable exceptions. Films like Madame Butterfly and Eastern Promises were shot in China and England respectively. Rabid and Shivers […] […]

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From coronation to Elbowgate: the extremes of Trudeau coverage

Tweet By world standards, the Parliamentary melee that happened this past week is pretty tame, but what has now become known as Elbowgate brings down our insanely high expectations of Justin Trudeau, fuelled by the media. The melee was nothing, Trudeau apologized, and sensible people are moving on. But in essensce it is a shock that it […] […]

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